Here’s something I notice, time and time again. Parents have a list. It includes a few very popular names, a few very different names, and a bunch in the middle. While the most popular don’t always win, the most different? Almost never do.
When it comes down to making our final choice, we tend to gravitate towards more mainstream choices. Could it be because they consistently receive better feedback? In real life and the virtual world, we greet Millie, Sage, Eliza, and Aurora with enthusiasm. “Oh, I love that name!”
There’s nothing wrong with that. Not really. But it you’re drawn to unusual names, it’s good to know that you’re facing that bias – maybe even internally – without realizing how strong it can be.
My first thought with Tupelo isn’t Elvis. It’s the Van Morrison song “Tupelo Honey.” But, of course, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, which makes it a subtle honor name for his great-granddaughter.
Rock star progeny have this subtle honor name thing down! Roy Orbison Jr. and wife Asa welcomed their fourth, a son named Sun Jakob. The inspiration? Sun Records, the label that gave early rock legend Roy Orbison and others – including Elvis – their break, back in the day. Sun joins brothers Love Achilles, Bo Alexander, and Roy III.
A few more fun Orbison family name facts:
- Sun’s middle comes from Roy Jr.’s mom, born Barbara Jakobs.
- Love’s name speaks to Asa’s Swedish roots.
- Bo is Asa’s father’s name and the initials of Roy Jr.’s mom, Barbara Orbison.
- Alexander is Roy Jr’s brother.
- Roy III is the traditional family name, Roy Kelton Orbison, handed down for a new generation.
Somehow, I heard the book title Lincoln in the Bardo and never realized Bardo wasn’t a place name. But it’s not. It’s a spiritual concept, borrowed from Buddhism, referring to the place between life and rebirth. From my worldview, that makes Bardo rather sorrowful. But it’s also intriguing, because Bardot is very Brigitte, and she’s rather horrible these days. Bardo has been used a handful of times since the 1970s, so maybe this is a possible name in the key of Bodhi?
Was 1948 the most Generic American year? Laura at Namerology dug into the placeholder names we all use – “little Jimmy” to refer to a kid or a “Susan” for any woman – and found that they all point to, more or less, the year 1948. Which is … no longer current. But what would a placeholder name be right now? Little Bella? Jason? Somehow they don’t have the same vibe, do they?